Two Examples Of Legal Challenges That May Complicate An Open Adoption Process

Although most birth parents prefer open adoption, the process is fraught with some legal challenges for adoptive parents. Fortunately, these challenges will be surmountable if the adoption process was above board and everything is legal.  Here are a couple of examples of these challenges:

Issues with Relinquishment

Relinquishment is the process by which the birth parent gives up their child for adoption, which means they renounce their legal rights to the birth of the child. Adopting a child involved going through numerous hoops, but the process is generally complete when the birth parent signs the relinquishment papers.

At least that's how it's supposed to work. Unfortunately, states have different laws that complicate this issue further. For example, in some states, there is a window (that can be as long as a few months) after the relinquishment within which the birth parent can change her mind and revoke the adoption. Some states also allow the birth parent to revoke the relinquishment if she can prove that she signed them under duress, coercion, or undue influence.

In short, going through the whole process and having the birth parent sign the relinquishment form may not guarantee that you will be keeping the child. As you can see, this can be a legal headache that you need to prepare for right from the start. Prepare yourself by educating yourself about adoption laws, preferably by consulting an adoption lawyer. The adoption lawyer will also see to it that due process is followed so that the birth parent doesn't find an excuse to revoke her relinquishment of the child.

Disagreements in Future Involvement

The second complication you may face is when the birth parent changes or tries to change her involvement with the child. Although the adoption agreement specifies how much contact the birth parent can have with the child, some parents may break this agreement by seeking additional visits with the child.

The desire to be in constant contact with one's child may be natural, but the birth parent should know this when relinquishing their child. The good news is that family courts usually side with adoptive parents as long as the existing contract was legal and is clearly beneficial to the child. Therefore, you don't have to worry if you involved an adoption lawyer like in the process and crafted a fair agreement that looks out for the child's welfare.

When you do everything above board, you have the law to turn back on when the birth parent tries to complicate matters.